Johnny Hunt believes Chester FC should have attempted to secure the future of some of their players before the end of the season.

Left-back Hunt is one of a number of Blues players who are now out of contract and free to join other clubs, with the likes of Ross Hannah, Luke George, John Rooney, Ryan Astles and Ben Heneghan also in that bracket.

While the Blues would receive compensation for highly-rated centre-back Heneghan as he is under the age of 24, the likes of Hunt, Hannah and Rooney can all depart the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium for nothing.

It is understood that the club have held off on contract negotiations until the appointment of a new manager, a decision that is expected next week, but Hunt believes that it could be a risky move, although he declared his wish to return to the club next season if offered a deal.

Johnny Hunt
Johnny Hunt

"It's mad that I can just leave for nothing now as I'm out of contract," said ex-Wrexham man Hunt, who was signed from Cambridge United last summer.

"Maybe the club should have done something sooner to try and keep some of the lads, but they're probably waiting on the new manager. It leaves things up in the air for a lot of lads, though.

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"I think we've got a good squad at Chester and the last thing that you want to be doing is ripping it apart and starting from scratch again. I think we have the chance to do something really good next season, it just needs someone to help us push on to the next level. I hope I'm here to be a part of the squad next season as I've really enjoyed my time at Chester.

"I think I've been pretty solid all season and would like to think I've done enough. I don't think I've played badly."

Johnny Hunt celebrates his goal against Halifax earlier in the season with Craig Mahon
Johnny Hunt celebrates his goal against Halifax earlier in the season with Craig Mahon

Hunt, 25, a virtual ever present for Chester this season, has lent his voice to calls for caretaker boss Jon McCarthy to be handed the role on a permanent basis.

McCarthy is set to have his interview for the post before the weekend and is in pole position for the job after registering three wins in his four games in charge, a feat that secured Chester's National League status which had been in grave danger at the start of April.

"No disrespect to Steve Burr or anything as he was a good manager and things just didn't work out, but Macca (McCarthy) has gone back to basics and been brilliant for us," said Hunt.

"We'll have to wait and see who the new manager is but Macca and Sharpy have done a great job and it would be good to see them get the chance to continue that as the squad are behind them.

"It's been a frustrating season and you know what football is like, you can never say never, but if Macca asked me to come back next season I wouldn't hesitate."